A week before I left for my trip, this Great 2012 Mileage Run, I started getting in touch with a community of couchsurfers. Specifically, I located members of the Warsaw group on CouchSurfing, a community of travelers who host others in their homes, travel to stay with hosts in different countries, show backpackers the local sights, and set up groups with meetings and events for local couchsurfers and visiting ones as well. The highlight of my trip, and of the last year in general, was this party that I was invited to by members of the Warsaw CouchSurfing group, the Saturated Party on Ambassador Weekend.
Friday, February 3rd, I met with my host, Sonia, whose couch I would be surfing. After conversing with her and her sweet, little mother, I took a nap so that I would have some life in me for the party later that night. I set my alarm for two hours later, yet slept right through it, as apparently I was more tired than I thought. Getting up around three hours after I had initially hit the pillow, I reminded Sonia that we needed to prepare.
The Saturated Party that we were going to was so named because guests were to bring different foods, such as candies, fruits, etc., which had been saturated in liquor for some time. Since I had known about this since Monday, four days prior, Sonia had prepared some gummy bears that had been marinating in vodka inside a sealed jar since then. Taking the triply-enlarged bears out of the fridge, we each tried one and shuddered at how strong they were; those gummy bears would do!
We got ready, and her mother insisted that my outfit was not sufficient to keep me from freezing, so she found a pair of leggings to wear, another two jackets to supplement the one I brought, and gave me a thick, wool hat to top it off. Sonia and I planned on being fashionably late, so we called a cab at around the time the party was supposed to start. The Saturated Party was located in the nice apartment of Artur, a Varsovian and couchsurfing enthusiast, and was organized by Adrian and Gosia, two CouchSurfing ambassadors. When we showed up, there were only a few people, Sebastian, from Texas, Gosia, the organizer, Artur, the host, Nelson, from Ecuador, and Antonina, his wife.
They immediately homed in on the gummy bears which Sonia was carrying, and the ice was sufficiently broken. More and more people came in the first hour that we were there, and then the apartment was quite full, before I realized. It was pretty international, as well: we had the Polish guests, of course, but then there was Jaan from Belgium, Tristan from Oregon, Sebastian from Texas, Romik from Armenia, Nelson from Ecuador, a guy from Germany, and a girl from Ukraine. And I came from New York, so not quite a bad mix.
We drank, we laughed, we talked, we tried to play some weird kissing/pass-the-playing-card-from-your-mouth-to-the-next-person’s-mouth game, we told stories, we listened to all reggaeton music, we smoked (cigarettes), we swallowed gummy bears, we took photos, we posed for the photos, we ate vodka-marinated fruits, we took shots, and we laughed some more!